Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
To purchase cat/kitten enrichment toys for our foster program.
The grant allowed us to replenish and add to our enrichment toys for the cats of all ages. We care for more than 250 cats a year in our foster program, and refreshing the toys can be costly but is much-needed.
Cheri is a senior cat currently in our care. She arrived in foster care last year after her owner died. Cheri is a youthful senior girl at 9-10 years old who just LOVES that turbo chaser toy! She is incredibly fast and coordinated and entertains herself for long stretches spinning that ball. The enrichment toys purchased with grant funds have brought new life to this girl, and capturing her playing with the toys and engaging with the other cats in our care has been a joy. Meet her: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41640047
Funding from the Orvis grant was used to purchase puzzle games, Kong toys and calming toys, agility and nose-work equipment (including weave poles, a jump, and a scent kit), and training tools (including harnesses, leashes, muzzles, clickers, and halters).
Kennel environments are often frustrating and overwhelming for incoming dogs and can exacerbate unwanted behaviors. Funding from the Orvis grant was used to purchase items that will help alleviate this stress and enrich the lives of dogs at our rescue for years to come. The tools acquired through this grant, such as the agility and nose-work equipment, have enabled volunteers to work more closely with kenneled dogs and build relationships founded on trust, thus providing for vital social enrichment prior to adoption. The Kong toys purchased from this grant are filled with either peanut butter or yogurt and are distributed to the dogs to keep them busy between kennel shifts. The calming toys assist in reducing stress, while the puzzle games provide added mental stimulation. The training tools acquired through this grant are essential to rehabilitating dogs in need. Muzzles, for example, have been used to secure the safety of both the dog and the volunteer, while clickers have been used to shape new, positive behaviors. These tools may ultimately increase the adoptability of some of our more challenging dogs by better enabling us to address problem behaviors resulting from previous trauma or neglect. Ultimately, the items provided by this grant have made it possible for us to introduce mentally stimulating and enriching activities to dogs at our rescue that would not have been available otherwise.
Ten so far, and more than 150 dogs are expected to benefit from this grant, as items will be used until they are beyond repair.
One of the dogs who has benefited greatly from this grant is Ava (first photo). Ava is a beautiful white shepherd mix who loves to cuddle and spend time with her foster family. Ava was not doing well with the other large female dog in her previous home and came to us as a timid dog who prefers peace and quiet. She is very affectionate and has been described as an “old soul” in a young body. The Comfort Zone calming vest acquired through the Orvis grant helps keep Ava calm and confident during times when she may feel overwhelmed or anxious. This alleviation of stress has enabled Ava to better transition into her foster family and will ultimately help her as she transitions into a permanent adoptive home.
Domino (second photo) is another dog who has greatly benefited from this grant. He is an intelligent, energetic cattle dog mix who requires mental stimulation beyond that of typical dogs who come into our rescue. Domino came to our rescue after he was tied out and abandoned by a previous owner. Walks and playing sessions are not enough to satisfy his drive and energy level. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation and the Orvis grant, Domino is now able to expend his energy through stimulating puzzle games, nose-work sessions, and agility training. Domino absolutely loves playing with his weave poles (pictured) and jump set! Through the use of these tools, Domino has become more engaged with volunteers and has truly blossomed as a happy, intelligent working companion. Use of these items helps to channel Domino’s energy in a positive, constructive way and enables him to become enriched both mentally, physically, and socially while waiting for his permanent adoptive home. Meet him: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41171713
A third dog who has benefited from the use of this grant is Maverick (third and fourth photos). Maverick is a loving, friendly pit bull mix who has been waiting for his forever home since 2015. He is affectionate, intelligent, and loves spending time with volunteers and his foster family. He spent the majority of his life in a confined space, away from other people and dogs. Because of this, he needed to learn how to properly interact with other dogs and strangers. Thanks to the training items purchased through the Orvis grant, Maverick has been able to acquire a solid foundation of obedience skills while waiting for a permanent adoptive home. The use of his Halti enables him to be more secure on daily walks, while allowing his foster family to feel more at ease when exercising him. As Maverick continues on his journey for a forever home, the items acquired through the Orvis grant will continue to enrich his life at our rescue and prepare him for the next chapter in his story. Meet him: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38468226
We provided training classes for one of our dogs, Zinnia, who was slated to be euthanized in the shelter because of aggressiveness due to fear. She has been working with someone for a few months now and staying in their home and is getting better. She is still not at point where she can be adopted, but we believe we will get there.
This grant enable us to get a little fearful dog out of the shelter and have her someone work with her.
Zinnia was going to be euthanized in the shelter for being aggressive. We could see the behavior was fear-based and she was not aggressive for any other reason. She was very reactive and would try to bite if you came near her. We were able to get her out and place her in a home with someone who works with fear-aggressive dogs. She is still being worked with but is getting better little by little, and we believe that she will be able to be adopted into a loving home eventually. Underneath all of that fear she is a very sweet little dog.
The pet's adoption fee was waived and his annual wellness package was completed.
We were able to rescue a senior dog slated to be euthanized and get him cared for and into a forever home.
Sparky is a senior dog rescued from a [high-intake] shelter. He was slated to be euthanized and was in terrible condition. This sweet little young-at-heart senior boy is approximately 8 years old. The poor little guy had teeth falling out and a bunch more that had to be removed. The vet also neutered him and shaved him down because he was so matted. He is an absolute sweetheart. He loves people, dogs and cats. Sparky wants to spend all his days cuddling with somebody or another companion animal. Our little man has visual impairment in his right eye from a cataract. He is completely blind from it. However, he still gets around and can apparently see with his other eye. Nothing holds him back as he loves to be outside with the pack. He enjoys his little walks around the neighborhood and then is ready to come home and take a nap. He likes other dogs and cats and enjoys cuddling with them. When they won't, it makes him sad, so we bought him a big furry sheep to cuddle up to and he loves it. Sometimes even his foster home's resident cat, Laverne, would sleep with him. Sparky just loves everybody. With this grant, we were able to rescue him and get him medically treated and then placed in a loving home by waiving his adoption fee.
Prior to any adoptions, our cats are fully vetted, which includes flea treatment, de-wormer, vaccinations, testing and, of course, spay/neuter surgery.
The funds received enabled us to promote our cats by saying they were the whole "cat and caboddle," as we like to say. Offering a fully vetted/altered pet is a perk and reassures us that the animal will not reproduce, leading to unnecessary euthanasia in our shelters.
This is Topaz. He was found walking around a local store's parking lot and rescued by one of our volunteers. We began our intake process of assessing and vetting and, once he was ready for adoption, uploaded his pics and bio to Petfinder. He's a little lovebug -- shy and needs time to warm up, but hopefully his fur-ever home is out there. Over the years, Petfinder has been such a valuable tool since it's well-known and countrywide. We are able to showcase our adoptable cats on a much larger scale. We feel it's efficient and easy for people to use. It's such a wonderful tool. Thank you for this generous donation and keep up the great work! We'd love to continue our partnership with you. Meet Topaz: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39546827/
The money was used to purchase Comfort Zone diffusers and scratchers that attach to cat-kennel doors, allowing cats to scratch while in their kennels:
Comfort Zone Cat Calming Diffuser Kits: $213.27
Comfort Zone Cat Calming Diffuser Single Kit: $21.69
Stretch and Scratch Pads (50): $295.80
This grant will help keep the cats at MCPAWS more content, relaxed, and stress-free while they wait to find homes. This grant has provided comfort to the cats in our care, which will help them be more social and healthy, and will ultimately help them find homes.
Oscar is a feisty 5-month-old kitten who was found abandoned in a trashcan when she was just a few weeks old. She was brought to MCPAWS by a good Samaritan and was soon placed in a loving foster home, where she regained her strength. Today she is a little firecracker who loves to play and wrestle with other kittens. While she is in her kennel, her favorite thing to do is to scratch on her Stretch and Scratch cat scratcher! These scratchers help Oscar stay busy while she waits to find a forever home. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for providing enrichment to cats and kittens like Oscar! Meet her: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/42674021/
This grant funded one volunteer to attend the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship program at Austin Pets Alive!
Since training an additional person to help lead our playgroups, we are able to run more playgroup sessions than before. This means that more dogs get to participate and each dog participates more times per week than before.
Bosco was a long-term resident at our shelter. This beautiful dog was a total love bug; he just didn't show well. He was a black, squared-headed boy with scars all over his body -- not the first choice for someone. In playgroups, however, he was the star of the show. He loved to run and play with his doggy friends, and his goofy, affectionate, and playful personality was bigger than any of his scars. Bosco is adopted now and we hope having the time of his life!
The Kong toys are being used to help the shelter animals, giving them something to think about and reducing their stress.
Evee was surrendered to us because she wasn't fitting into her new home. She is a little anxious, but super sweet and very smart. She is really enjoying the Kong toys and figuring out how to get the treats out of the middle while she's waiting for her new home. Meet her: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/42078494
Humane Society of North Central Arkansas: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)
16 Kuranda cat beds, bubbles, five dog puzzles, five pet flipboards, four Mad Scientist for Dogs toys, five Seek-A-Treat Flip N Flap dog puzzles, 4 Bubbletastic Bacon bubble machines, and four white-noise machines
Giving the animals things to interact with and think about reduces stress, and bringing comfort and choices to the animals also reduces stress, helping to make them all more adoptable.
Sheba came in a very shy girl. She wasn't sure of the staff and took a little time to adjust to new people. She was starting to blossom when we introduced the Bubbletastic Bacon Bubble Machine. She started playing and got adopted less than a week later.
We used this wonderful opportunity to purchase Kat Portals from Shor-Line to transform our cat-intake cages into doubles for the cats that have a tendency to stay in intake longer for any reason. We used a small portion of the grant to replace our cat lasers that our volunteers use when socializing our condo residents.
Adding the portals to our 3x3 cages allows us to award more space to larger cats who would otherwise have to live in the 3x3 cage for an extended period of time. Years ago, we were able to add the portals to our cattery so that our long-term residents were able to have more space. We are grateful to be able to finally provide the same comfort for the cats that are forced to remain in our intake cages due to circumstances outside of their control.
This grant was able to help nine cats maintain some comfort and have room to spread out while they are waiting to enter the adoption floor.
The portals have helped cats like Beachball (first photo). This adorable red-and-white tabby is a little on the larger size. She has been with us since July 24, 2018, and has been in entry/intake waiting for a spot to open up on the adoption floor. The portals ensured that she had room to play and lounge and didn't have to share her space with a litter box. Look for her soon on Petfinder!